Here’s the third in our “get to know the community” interview series, where we interview @nathan and learn about his grow operation in Canada.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I’m the founder of the Canadian Cannabis Supply Company, an early stage startup positioned to take advantage of the pending legalization of cannabis in Canada.
We focus on growing a range of cannabis lines for medical and recreational usage as well as developing the vertical market potential with processing for edibles, extracts and more.
I am a 7+ generation farmer from Australia, and a 2nd generation Cannabis farmer.
I have been running a regenerative permaculture-styled farm in Canada since 2009, focusing on organic vegetable production and distribution through community supported agriculture. We also raise around 150 forested free-range pigs. I make great compost and practice growing in an extreme northern climate.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started in the early 90’s in Australia while studying business & law at university. I spent a number of years working through different points in the illicit production and distribution supply chain until I was finally offered a 10,000+ plant jungle operation and had a moment where I realized I was about to go down a very deep rabbit hole.
I pivoted and used all the street smarts and networks to setup a web startup and rave warehouse in the late 90’s which ultimately led to me becoming an e-business and startup development consultant. I wore a suit for many years and tinkered with personal growing and breeding.
I ended up moving to Canada after marrying a Canadian and returned to farming after the last economic meltdown. We built a solid following for high quality local food, which has logically extended to include cannabis.
How do you grow?
We grow outdoors, with greenhouse assistance, and indoors.
We grow in an integrated ecosystem with organic and beyond organic principles. We build a rich soil food web and manage the soil microbes and micro/macro organisms. We support the mycorrhizal fungi and the transfer of nutrients and minerals. We use natural insect control. We are building an ecosystem that will support the optimum growth of the cannabis plant (as well as many others).
We believe that cannabis has to be organic. Artificial fertilizers do not give full opportunity for the cannabis plant to express its many tens of thousands of years of evolutionary capacity.
It’s like wine or tomatoes; the terrior of the soil will feed the cannabis. Cannabis grown in sterile indoor chemical environments is like a pale winter hothouse substitute for a beautiful, flavour-rich late summer tomato.
What strains do you grow and how did you select those?
We grow a range of strains. We have a core selection that has evolved in response to customer feedback or positive strains and production.
Our core selections revolve around the Kush strains (OG, Bubba, Hindu), classics such as the Northern Lights, White Widow etc, mixed hybrids and CBD strains.
Due to our northern climate we have a limited outdoor growing season. We have integrated autoflowering plants into our mix to be able to have early seasonal production, as well the opportunity for multiple harvests from the same space. Autoflowering varieties have opened up the opportunity to grow beautiful sativa crosses as well as resin-heavy indicas in the same timeframe that we used to just wait for a plant to sex.
Our current favourites for auto’s are:
Jack Herer, Nevilles Haze, Sweet Mango, Northern Lights, and White Widow
We go from seed to smoke in 10-12 weeks and harvest 100-200 grams of product. We can create a succession crop and have multiple crops out of the same space in a season.
Who are your mentors and inspiration in the cannabis industry?
My inspiration is cannabis. It is an amazing and versatile plant that is an integral part of the human experience. It has so much to offer and hopefully in the coming years we will finally see it come to realize its full potential.
My mentors are people that have no names: old hippies and bikers, mobsters and garbage collectors, businessmen and thugs.
I’ve also read all the Rosenthal and Cervantes works. which have given an academic lean to growing and development.
What are your hobbies and interests to relax after work?
Farming. Growing cannabis. Consuming cannabis. Growing food. Consuming food.
I also like to play around with turntablism.
And maybe after a phat spliff of some something sticky and a couple of nice IPA’s, wax lyrical on politics, metaphysics, building businesses and dimensional space and time constructs.
Where do you see the Cannabis Industry heading in the coming years?
With legalization looming in Canada and, already present in many states of the US, it is rapidly emerging as one of the largest potential boom industries in living memory. With recreational, medicinal, and industrial applications it could be worth well over $100 billion. If we get industrial applications worked out it could be in the trillions.
What is the oil industry worth? It destroys the land, water and ecosystems. Cannabis/hemp could replace that with focus and both reduce our carbon outputs and sequester carbon at the same time.
And that is just one disruption. Cannabis has a massive amount of potential. This is only the very beginning. It’s like the web back in about 1997. There are no Googles or Facebooks. There are many over-capitalised and greedy corporations (especially in Canada) that are trying to secure this amazing new marketplace. But you can’t control a weed, especially when you have no understanding of the market or the user.
Opportunity abounds for those who have been shunned and hunted for years. Now is the time to seize on the years of experience in grow ops and guerilla grows, street deals and hustling. No-one know cannabis better than those who have dedicated their lives to it and pursued it even when faced with years in prison. Carpe Diem.
Thanks for sharing your background and growing principles, Nathan! If any other community members are interested in participating in this interview series, please drop me a private message.